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RNA. 2019 Sep 23. pii: rna.065763.118. doi: 10.1261/rna.065763.118. [Epub ahead of print]

Genetic robustness of let-7 miRNA sequence-structure pairs.

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University of Virginia, Biocomplexity Institute and Initiative.
University of Virginia, Biocomplexity Institute and Initiative


Genetic robustness, the preservation of evolved phenotypes against genotypic mutations, is one of the central concepts in evolution. In recent years a large body of work has focused on the origins, mechanisms, and consequences of robustness in a wide range of biological systems. In particular, research on ncRNAs studied the ability of sequences to maintain folded structures against single-point mutations. In these studies, the structure is merely a reference. However, recent work revealed evidence that structure itself contributes to the genetic robustness of ncRNAs. We follow this line of thought and consider sequence-structure pairs as the unit of evolution and introduce the spectrum of extended mutational robustness (EMR-spectrum) as a measurement of genetic robustness. Our analysis of the miRNA let-7 family captures key features of structure-modulated evolution and facilitates the study of robustness against multiple-point mutations.


genetic robustness; let-7 miRNA; multiple-point mutation; sequence-structure pairs


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